The yellowmouth grouper (Mycteroperca interstitialis), also known as the crossband rockfish, grey mannock, hamlet, harlequin rockfish, princess rockfish, rockfish, salmon grouper, salmon rock fish or scamp, is a species of grouper that lives in the Caribbean and in the tropical waters of the Atlantic ocean. It is also found in pockets in Brazil. It is a fairly large fish and it gets its name from the yellow around its mouth.
The yellowmouth grouper is fairly large and robust. It has yellow markings on its sides as well as its mouth and they also appear on its upper dorsal fin. It has rusty brown stripes that run down the side of its body and a white underbelly. The fins are a blueish colour but also include a bit of gray. They can potentially grow up to 70 cm, but most stop growing at 40 cm. Some variants of this fish have mort distinct brown markings as opposed to yellow. The juvenile is similarly coloured except it contains darker brown stripes and overall is darker brown.
The yellowmouth grouper is very widely spread. It covers the waters surrounding Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Montserrat; Netherlands Antilles; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S. It is fished around the southwest Atlantic.
The yellowmouth grouper will occasionally swim into shallower waters, but normally lives in deep waters. It is also found on rocky bottoms and coral beds that range from 4 to 55 meters in depth. The smaller individuals will stay in the shallows.
Groupers will mostly prey on things smaller than them. They will eat smaller fish, crabs, lobster and other crustaceans.
These fish have a few threats facing them. There is always the threat of overfishing. Yellowmouth grouper has an amazing taste so people are always looking to eat some which causes the market for them to spike resulting in overfishing.